Using antiseptic-impregnated catheters reduces the risk of catheter-related infection, according to a study authored by Dr. Joseph Civetta in the October 1996 issue of Critical Care Medicine.
In the study, performed at the University of Miami School of Medicine, Dr. Civetta and his team devised a management protocol of central venous catheterization. Using ARROWg+ard Blue catheters (Arrow International, Reading, Pennsylvania), catheters impregnated with silver sulfadiazine(Drug information on silver sulfadiazine) and chlorhexedine, the research team was able to reduce their trauma intensive care unit rate of catheter-related infection from 15% to 6%.
In addition to the impact of ARROWg+ard Blue catheters, the indications for guidewire exchange were also studied. Changes in both the guidelines and indications for guidewire exchange were implemented. One change was the substitution of "suspected catheter-related sepsis" for fever as an indication for exchange. In addition, the "safe" period (the time before considering changing of a catheter because catheter-related sepsis was suspected) was extended from 2 to 4 days. These changes resulted in the elimination of 40% of guidewire exchanges, associated with a decreased catheter-related infection rate. Thus, unnecessary changes were eliminated. According to Dr. Civetta, the increase in the "safe" period of catheter use was possible due mostly to the use of the antiseptic-impregnated catheters.
By using the ARROWg+ard Blue catheters in conjunction with changes in the guidelines and indications for guidewire exchange, cost savings were estimated to be $190 per patient and $4,750 per month to the hospital.